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Optimizing System Performance and Dependability Using Compiler Techniques

by Rajagopalan, Mohan.

Abstract (Summary)
As systems become more complex, there are increasing demands for improvement with respect to attributes such as performance, dependability, and security. Optimization is defined as the process of making the most effective use of a set of resources with respect to some attribute. Existing optimization techniques, however, have two fundamental limitations. They target individual parts of a system without considering the potentially significant global picture, and they are designed to improve a single attribute at a time. These limitations impose significant restrictions on the kinds of optimization possible, the effectiveness of the techniques, and the ability to improve the optimization process itself. This dissertation presents holistic system optimization, a new approach to optimization based on taking a broad view of a system. Unlike current approaches, holistic optimizations consider different kinds of interactions at multiple levels in a system, and target a variety of metrics uniformly. A key component of this research has been the use of proven compiler techniques to ensure transparency, automation, and correctness. These techniques have been implemented in Cassyopia, a software prototype of a framework for performing holistic optimization. The core of this work is three new holistic optimizations, which are also presented. The first describes profile-directed static optimizations designed to improve the performance of eventbased programs by spanning boundaries that separate code that raises events from handlers that field them. The second, system call clustering, improves the system call behavior of an entire program by grouping together calls that can be executed in a single boundary crossing. In this case, the optimization spans kernel and user address spaces. Finally, authenticated system calls optimize system security through a novel implementation of an efficient system call monitor. This example demonstrates how the new approach can be used to create new optimizations that not only span address space boundaries but also target attributes such as dependability. All of these optimizations involve the application of standard compiler techniques in non-traditional contexts and demonstrate how systems can be improved beyond what is possible using existing techniques. 13
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School:The University of Arizona

School Location:USA - Arizona

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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